The Turning Point:
Art and Politics in Nineteen Sixty-eight

On December 7, 1968 two newcomers to Cleveland, Nina Castelli Sundell and Marjorie Talalay, established an enterprise which was to become one of the City's important and distinguished cultural institutions.

Originally called The New Gallery, it was situated on Euclid Avenue in a modest store front. In 1974, two years after moving to a turn-of-the-century house on Bellflower Road in University Circle, the Gallery changed its status to a not-for-profit institution, to more effectively pursue its primary educational objectives. Ten years later, to aptly project its role in the community it was renamed the Cleveland Center for Contemporary Art.

From the outset it was the goal of the founders to present work perceived to be on the "cutting edge" of contemporary art. It is gratifying to note how many of today's acclaimed artists who emerged on the national art scene at the end of the 60s or the beginning of the 70s had one of their earliest solo exhibitions in Cleveland, at the New Gallery.

The Center's educational activities have ranged from hands-on workshops for inner city students, to outreach programs in the community, and to the publication of scholarly exhibition catalogues. A prestigious Fall Lecture Series has become an eagerly awaited annual event.

Last October the Center added a large satellite space in the spectacular new downtown Galleria at Erieview. It now presents a full season of exhibitions and events from two key locations: University Circle and downtown Cleveland the cultural and the commercial hubs of the city. To date, over 150,000 persons have visited the Center's Galleria space.

On behalf of the Board of Trustees it is a privilege and pleasure to congratulate Marjorie Talalay, the Center's Director and Nina Sundell, Honorary Trustee, on the occasion of the twentieth anniversary year of the Center. Their curatorial expertise, boundless energy and professional dedication have served to provide this community with the opportunity to experience the challenging intellectual and aesthetic excitement of today's art created by today's artists.

Further, I would like to recognize the loyal and generous support of my fellow Trustees and numerous other individuals, corporations and foundations who have demonstrated their belief in the importance of providing Cleveland with a forum for the new and experimental in the visual arts.

No doubt I express the sentiment of founders and supporters by looking forward to a future of increased cultural services to the community.

Anita D. Cosgrove,
The Cleveland Center for Contemporary Art